Monday, December 26, 2011

Holiday Blog Hop Award Winners!

Thank you all so much for participating in this year's Holiday Blog Hop! It was a blast having all of you swing by and I hope you'll drop in again!

In a completely random drawing (see! this is me bleery eyed next to my unmade bed randomly drawing your names out of a holiday bag! I thought the glitter was appropriate for the occasion)...

... * drumroll *... I am pleased to anounce our winners!

The "If the Boot Fits" Retro Cowgirl Bank
- Dawnmomoffour

The fairy candle
- Shadow Kohler

And in a rare fit of Christmas spirit, I decided to give away TWO copies of each of my books. It is a Christmas miracle! I know! Well, Santa told me you all had been very good this year...
- NicoleSender
- Helen

And TWO copies of Maggie for Hire
- TeressaOliver
- Theresjustlife

Congratulations! You all are now entered to win the Holiday Blog Hop Grand Prize of a Kindle Fire!

And, again, thank you SO MUCH to all of you who entered and commented and shared little glimpses into your life via the comment boxes. It was great to have you here!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Accolade Award - Fragile

Happy Holidaze! In a completely random occurance that falls under a very much appreciated holiday gift, Fragile, directed by Bryn Woznicki and starring Joseph Limbaugh, Neev Asken, and myself just won an Accolade Award!

It is an absolutely gorgeous short and I am so proud to have been a part of it. Bryn and her crew were amazing, the cast top notch, and all around it was just a fantastic project. But don't take my word for it. Check it out here!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Holiday Blog Hop/12 Days of Christmas Blog Hop - Days 4 & 5

Welcome to the 12 Days of Christmas and Holiday Blog Hop! With deep thanks to the Holiday Blog Hop, comment on this post for your chance to win a Kindle Fire and other great prizes! Click here for the details. And make sure to visit the other blogs on this hop for free goodies and give-a-ways!


Well, that whole "Let me post every day" idea was so adorable, wasn't it? Sheesh.

We closed A Christmas Carol last night and I'm still reeling from this experience. It was amazing. My brain is mush. I have so many things to do for the holidays. I'm completely overwhelmed by the outpouring of love from everyone. And completely overwhelmed how I seem to have misplaced the past seven weeks of my life. WRAPPING PAPER! CLEAN THE HOUSE! BUY ALL THE THINGS!

I'm afraid I'm going to keep this blog post short since we're at Death Con 4 Christmas Security Warning! WARNING! RED ALERT! RED ALERT!

A real post tomorrow.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

12 Days of Christmas & Holiday Blog Hop Day 3 - The Coming of the End or The Last Two Shows of A Christmas Carol

Welcome to the 12 Days of Christmas and Holiday Blog Hop! With deep thanks to the Holiday Blog Hop, comment on this post for your chance to win a Kindle Fire and other great prizes! Click here for the details. And make sure to visit the other blogs on this hop for free goodies and give-a-ways!


We've got two more performances of A Christmas Carol before I have to bid a fond adieu to the Ghost of Theater Present.

Scrooge & Phantom

It has been an amazing show. I have been overwhelmed by the response afterwards. People have come up to me with tears in their eyes. They have sought us out, needing somehow to try and express the journey they just went on. There are a hand full of shows that I have worked on that have inspired such a genuine outpouring of warm regard.

Last night, a man who has seen just about every production of A Christmas Carol (and ticked them all off for us to prove that he knew what he was talking about), said that this was his favorite interpretation. People who hated A Christmas Carol, people who loved A Christmas Carol, they have talked about the simplicity of this production. How it is focused upon what is important - which is not the storyline. It is the text. It is the original words as written by Charles Dickens. We were laughing and nodding our heads in agreement backstage last night, recalling feedback from one audience member that to form an opinion on A Christmas Carol without actually reading or hearing the original text is like forming an opinion on Romeo & Juliet based on Taylor Swift's song. Said audience member was A Christmas Carol convert after seeing this show.


The difference is THAT great.

I remember how theater changed my life. I remember sitting in the audience of A Secret Garden on Broadway, watching Mandy Patinkin and Daisy Eagan, I remember watching a children's theater version of Little Red Riding Hood in Golden Gate Park and feeling afterwards like I could fly. THAT is how theater should make a person feel. That is why we do it. That is why we see it. And that is why it should be supported. Because we have a duty to each other. Our souls should feel so light and alive afterwards that each step is like a flying dream.

Belle and Scrooge

A Christmas Carol
12/17 at 8PM, 12/18 at 7PM

GTC Burbank
1111-b West Olive Ave.
Burbank, CA 91506

Friday, December 16, 2011

Blog Hop Day 2 - Awards are Always Nice

Welcome to the 12 Days of Christmas and Holiday Blog Hop! With deep thanks to the Holiday Blog Hop, comment on this post for your chance to win a Kindle Fire and other great prizes! Click here for the details. And make sure to visit the other blogs on this hop for free goodies and give-a-ways!


Well, it was a lovely surprise to wake up and get an email informing me I've been nominated for several Acme Awards.

The Acme Comedy Theater is a great little sketch and improv spot in town. A couple years back, I realized I probably needed to figure out how to do improv if I was going to last long out here. To any aspiring actors thinking about making The Great LA Move - in NYC, you need to be able to tap dance and sing. Here, it's do standup and improv.

I had a fantastic four year run with the theater before deciding to hang up my funny shoes and see if my brain was capable of memorizing lines anymore.

The Acme was my family and home and I am so very proud of so many of the things I did with them. I'll be off performing A Christmas Carol during the awards ceremony, so hopefully someone will let me know if I won, but truly, it is an honor to be nominated.


HDR: Best Character Performance, Female - Season 1
Kate Danley as The Mom who's Daughter's Molar is Possessed, in “The Dentist” with Jade Harlow

HDR: Best Support of Guest Star, Female
Kate Danley as Kate, Doomed Wife of Jewish Gladiator “Noshicus,” in “Noshicus” with Sean Kanan


MBA: Best Character Performance, Female
Kate Danley as Kitty Van Horn - the femme fatale in "The Shady Darque"

So, now it is your turn, dear readers and commenters looking for something to write about... The premise of Hollywood Dream Role was that we would ask a star what their "dream role" was - the one they had never gotten a chance to do, but always wanted to play. We would then improvise a 45 minute long show with them starring in that role. For example, Alison Haislip said she always wanted to be a superhero. Patrick Muldoon always wanted to play Danny Zuko in Grease. Walt Willey always wanted to be in Jaws. Candis Cayne always wanted to play Mommy Dearest.

So how about you? If you could play any role in any movie, what would it be? And why?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

12 Days of Christmas Blog Hop

As if one Blog Hop wasn't enough... How about two? YAY! Welcome to the Intoxicated by Books Blog Hop! You're welcome to enter my give-a-ways! Just leave a comment on any of my posts from now until December 24th, and you're eligible to win a copy of Maggie for Hire, The Woodcutter, a sweet and sassy retro Boot Fund piggy bank, and a lovely fairyfolk candle! Just mention which one you're interested in with your comment and you're entered in the raffle!

Ladies and Gentlemen, My 2nd Book Bloghop 2011
My new book cover... for right now... Bloghop 2011

Holiday Hop Day #1

Comment on this post for your chance to win a Kindle Fire and other great prizes! Click here for the details.


This year, I've got the holiday spirit.

Christmas 2011

It's probably all to blame on doing A Christmas Carol (ahem), which is pay-what-you-can tonight (hint hint hint) and there are 1/2 price tickets on Goldstar (HINT HINT HINT) . I was looking at my calendar and realized that I haven't done a scripted show since 2008. That's a lot of time I've spent these past couple years just getting on stage and making stuff up. It's been such an intense six weeks, I'm not even really sure I'm going to know what to do with myself come Monday.

I mean, other than Christmas time with my brand new niece.

Yah. She's pretty frickin' adorable. Emily June Auve. Emily hasn't called for bail money or crashed her mom and dad's car yet, so I'm thinking my kid sister and her husband seem to have this parenting thing under control.

Their cats on the other hand...

Trouble. With a capital "T".

So, I really like my holiday decor. Pictures never really do things justice, so just trust me when I say they are kickarse in real life.

Christmas 2011

I love this little set up, though. Every item has meaning.

The drawing was given to me for my birthday by my friend Joe Purcell (creator of The Fall of Paul and the fantastic Dr. Dass in episode four). It was drawn by Paul Coker, Jr., who created all of my favorite holiday claymation specials. I LOVE claymation. As a kid, it was like watching toys come to life. I still break out the films every Christmas. My favorite is when Rudolf and Benjamin Franklin go off to save the Baby New Year from the time vulture.

That silver tree trunk? I looked at it and looked at it and FINALLY, after weeks of thinking and dreaming about it, I went back and grabbed it. I thought it was a lovely little holiday homage to The Woodcutter.

That big disco ball cup there in the back? Another item I needed like a hole in the head, but kept obsessing over. I FINALLY decided to pony up the whole... I think it was $15... and get it. But when I arrived it was the last one and it had no tag, so they gave it to me for $2.00.

The little white trees? I bought them in a mall in El Paso the weekend my grandmother died. My suitcase broke (the wheels axle snapped in half so here I was, this grieving passenger, just dragging my bag through the terminal like the saddest traveler ever to travel) and these little trees were there at the store on a 70% sale, because evidently, I'm the only human being who wants white blown glass trees. People are nuts.

The green tree was a big indulgence during a time I was pretty broke.

The Elf on the Shelf is from my other grandma's house. I think it belonged to my great-grandmother before her.

The little green elf I've had since I was a kid. It used to sit in this printbox I had hanging on my wall, filled up with other little treasures I had collected. Back in the day, there weren't a whole lot of friends for my Barbie, so more times than not, he ended up playing her baby. He is really quite attractive swaddled up in Kleenex, held in place with scotch tape.

The little angel statue I actually bought on eBay a few weeks ago. My Idaho grandma had a similar statue in her guest room and I don't know if we saved it or not when we were clearing out her house. I saw this gal and just went, "Oh. She makes me so happy..."

So, there you have it. My million miles long DAY ONE POST.

If you've made it this far, it's probably because you're DESPERATELY SCANNING for SOMETHING to write a comment about. So, let me give you a topic... Tell me about something you bring out for the holidays that has sentimental value. What is it? Where did you get it? Why is it important? And if you have a link to a picture, post that, too! I'd love to see it!

And remember, if you'd like to be entered for one of the faaaabulous prizes and be eligible for the Kindle Fire, make sure to mark down which raffle you'd like to be entered into!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Holiday Blog Hop

Welcome to the Holiday Blog Hop 2011!

What's a Blog Hop? It's a way to get to know other bloggers and, in this case, indie writers. Here's the list of the 75+ authors participating in the Holiday Blog Hop. From December 15-24, we're running contests, giveaways and games on our blogs with a grand prize of a KINDLE FIRE! So click here for the list of Holiday Blog Hoppers and enter yourself to win!

Have you found this blog through the Hop? Welcome! I've got some fun prizes for you!

1. Boot Fund Piggy Bank in Retro Cowgirl Style

Bloghop 2011

2. A lovely Fairy and Birds candle handmade by a local Los Angeles artist, perfect for when you want to read some fairytales by candlelight

Bloghop 2011

3. What? You need some fairytales? Well, it is your lucky day! I'm giving away a free copy of The Woodcutter in either paperback or eBook. Your choice!

4. Like your fantasy a little more modern with a bit more grit? Well, my fine friends, I have got you covered! I'm also giving away a free copy of Maggie for Hire! Paperback, ebook, you name it, it is yours!

So how do you get your hands on these FAHHHBULOUS prizes?


1. I'll be blogging every day from December 15-24 (gulp). Post a comment on any of the posts from December 15-24. At the end of your comment, note which prize you'd like - #1, #2, #3, #4. The more you comment, the more times you are entered!

2. Already own The Woodcutter or Maggie for Hire? Send me a picture for my Sightings Page and you'll get five entries!

3. At the end of the week, I'll put your name in the appropriate hat, cover my eyes and draw a winner.

4. The four winners from my blog will be entered to win the Holiday Blog Hop grand prize - A KINDLE FIRE! Yes, you read that right. A KINDLE FIRE! Kindly furnished by our hostess with the mostest, Cheryl Bradshaw.

PLEASE NOTE: I will need a way to get in touch with you if you win! If you have disabled your sign in from displaying any contact info, shoot a message to with your handle and email, and we're all set. I promise I won't sell your email to Amway. It's just to get in touch with you if you win.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

We're Open!

We officially opened A Christmas Carol last night, with a preview on Thursday night. I am so proud. It has been amazing. There are moments as an actor when you sit there listening to the audience hold its breath. It is a quiet like no other. I've also been SHOCKED to hear the audience cry BOTH nights we've run. I mean, come on. It's A Christmas Carol. We all know what's going to happen. But I guess we're doing something right. :) (yes... I used an emoticon. Let us never speak of it again.)

All the Details

And tomorrow (Sunday, December 11th) has been declared a special Pay-What-You-Can night! So come out! We run tonight and tomorrow, then Thursday - Sunday next week. And there are 1/2 price tickets on Goldstar. If you come, let me know what you think!

Thu, Fri, Sat 8 pm; Sun 7 pm
GTC Burbank
1111-b West Olive Ave.
Burbank, CA 91506

Monday, December 5, 2011

A Christmas Carol Opens This Thursday!

I'll be taking a turn towards the darkly warm and fuzzy this Thursday in the GTC Production of A Christmas Carol.

With a cast of three, we bring to life the original text as written by Charles Dickens himself. We bring it to spooky, spooky life. It is a ghost story, after all...

Did you know that? Yah. It is a ghost story. Says so on the front page of the original book. And we don't shy away from that.

I've done a bunch of shows over the course of my career, but every now and again, I get one that makes me go, "Wow. This is cool."

This is one of those shows.

The direction is brilliant. The set and lighting are breathtaking. The actors are insanely talented. And the text is yummy with a spoon.

Prior to this show, I was sort of O.V.E.R. A Christmas Carol. I had seen it so many times and done so badly, that I flat out never needed to see another version ever again.

This show has made a convert out of me. It is timely and challenging. There are social and political statements behind the text. And the text itself... It's like people forgot that it's not necessarily what you're saying, it's how you're saying it. Anyone can recap the plot of A Christmas Carol. But the words... Oh, the original words of Dickens are delicious. A couple spots in the script, I actually have trouble getting through because the words are so beautiful. I get choked up. True story. This emotional Grinch over here gets tears in her eyes.

So, come catch the holiday fun! Challenge your brain! Come out and see some theater in Los Angeles that doesn't suck!

A Christmas Carol
adapted from Charles Dickens
by Kevin Cochran

Kate Danley
David Allen Jones &
Frank Simons

December 8-18, 2011
Thu, Fri, Sat 8 pm; Sun 7 pm

GTC Burbank
1111-b West Olive Ave.
Burbank, CA 91506

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Night of Writing Dangerously

I love NaNoWriMo. Let's just get that right out on the table. Some kids look forward to Christmas. I look forward to being chained to a desk and forced to hack out 50,000 in 30 days. I expect it is the same sort of high that forces people to run marathons and swim to Alcatraz in their Speedos. Personally, I'm partial to the comforting glow of the computer screen and the gentle tippity tap of the keyboard to pushing my body to the brink of quitting on me, but to each its own. Actually, no, you marathon runners and swimmers are nuts. Now pass me the Halloween candy. You weren't going to eat it, anyways.

So I received an email way back in the middle of October about this event going on in San Francisco in conjunction with NaNoWriMo. It was called "The Night of Writing Dangerously". It was a fundraiser for this charity that gets students fired up about long form, creative writing.

I started really writing in the 4th grade. We had gotten a story starter (it was this picture of a clock). I was so proud. I wrote a whole six pages, front and back, on that thick, large lined, brown newsprint with my fat red pencil.

Turned out a guy in my class really like to write, too. We were stuck on a bus together for 45 minutes each way to school and so he and I would sit there making up stories the whole time. We had a brilliant series we were going to publish. Kind of a Care Bears/Smurfs knock off. Trust me. It was genius. We could have ruled the kid demographic commercially marketed world.

My family moved and writing once again became the tie that bound my new friends and me together. Books were written on school yards. Stories were mailed back and forth for notes. During those horrible middle school years, writing was the one way I could communicate. I would sit for hours at my dad's computer with it's whole 2MB hard drive and type and type and type.

All this is to say, I viscerally know how important creative writing at a young age can be.

So I set about raising some funds to get up to this Night of Writing Dangerously Write-a-Thon. And you guys stepped up to make it happen. Thank you Caitlin Bergendahl, Bridget Franckowiak, Robin McWilliams, Cassie Oates, Joe Purcell, Richard Van Slyke, Mary Stancavage, Ken Steadman, Ray Stilwell, Tammy Turk, and Christine Wilhelm.

Sunday started at the altar of my liquid god at suck o'clock in the morning.

The Altar of my Liquid God The Morning of Drinking Coffee Dangerously

Bleary eyed, I drug myself to the land of the living.

Bleary Eyed at Suck o'Clock

It was a slow dash to pack. I kicked all the laundry under my bed and just shut the door in the hopes that the pet sitter wouldn't peek inside to see what a horrible housekeeper I am.

Laptop and powercord. Check. Novel on the laptop, emailed to myself AND on a flashdrive. Check.

My novel on a flashdrive. Check. Rainbow Unicorn Sweatshirt. Check.

Rainbow unicorn sweatshirt. Check.

It was off to the sweet little Burbank airport that I love so much. I was the only person on the shuttle.

Sole Rider

As a last minute afterthought, I threw my collapsible umbrella into my purse, which turned out to be one of the smartest decisions I've ever made, for the weather gods decided we all needed some proper atmospheric conditions for writing dangerously. How else were we supposed to call upon the moody influence of dark and stormy nights? Quite considerate of Mother Nature. Really.

Prepared for the rain

So, blogging about food is pretty stupid, but knock me down a couple IQ points and call me Bubba. There is a GREAT little random food place in the Southwest terminal that makes a killer breakfast burrito. I highly recommend.

Burbank BreakfastBurbank Breakfast

Thus fed, caffeinated, and happy, my plane departed.

Now, 30,000 ft and 400 miles is no excuse for not staying on top of things. Muttering to one's self under one's breath is a fantastic way to keep your seatmate from yapping at you, so I pulled out my script since * gulp * we open next week.

Memorizing at 30,000 ft.

Everyone says that Oakland is the easier airport to get in and out of, but the Bay Bridge toll road would make me argue the point.

Toll Road to SF

Even so, I was in San Francisco. And not even traffic can kill that buzz.

Driving to SF (don't worry.  I was at a dead stop)

I had about a 1/2 hour to kick around before check in, so I toodled down the road to Ghirardelli Square.

Ghirardelli in the Rain

The rain had begun in earnest, so I was thinking I'd just pack it in and head off to the dry comforts of my motel, when I turned around and saw the most amazing rainbow I think I've ever seen.

Double Rainbow Crashing Into Alcatraz

It was double, all the way from one end of the sky to the other. And then I don't know how this worked out, but I could actually see the end of the rainbow. It crashed into Alcatraz. WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN!?!?

Double Rainbow Crashing Into Alcatraz The Noon Time Double Rainbow Crashing Into Alcatraz Dangerously

But the hour to depart approached, and I headed off to the little Castle Inn.

Let's flashback for a moment, shall we? When I was on those long bus rides, before the days of writing stories, I would stare at all the hotels in San Francisco and play this game where I would decide which hotel was my favorite that day and cheer on the hotels that had a "No Vacancy" sign, giving them a gold star and a thumbs up.

I was kind of a weird kid.

So, anyways, the Castle Inn was one of those hotels that I would pass and it was kind of a kick to see what it looked like inside almost thirty years since I had first wondered.

The Afternoon of Standing Next to Golden Gate Bridge Hotel Art Work Dangerously The Afternoon of Checking Into A Hotel Room Dangerously

I got dressed, primped and polished for the big event that night.

My Ensamblah

I rode down the ancient lift to my car.

The Night of Riding (Lifts) DangerouslyThe Night of Riding (Lifts) Dangerously

And headed over to the The Julia Morgan Ballroom at the Merchants Exchange Building.

From the moment I entered, I had already made, like, five friends.

Warm Ye in Friendship

It's hard not to notice the cool kids when you're all dressed up in 1940's noir. Everyone was so insanely sweet. There were people from all corners of the globe, all gathered in San Francisco for this Write-a-thon.

There was a candy bar.

Candy Bar

And an open bar.

Regular Bar

And then the ballroom opened up at at each of our places was a tote bag with swag and a mug and an event poster.

The Room of Literary Abandon Swag

We all found ourselves a seat.

The Ballroom

And set up our sea of laptops.

The Night of Writing DangerouslyGetting down to brass tacks

I made a beeline to check out the raffle table where they were giving away baskets full of gift certificates, a wizard robe, and a hand carved Viking doll.

I'm Here!  Officially!

The whole evening was filled with word sprints where you typed as fast as you could. I was proud of hitting 800 wpm. The winners were pulling 2200. The winners had to wear a hat shaped like a flower pot with flowers sprouting off the top. There were competitions between the tables to see which group could churn out the most words. Dinner was all finger foods which could be eaten with one hand while you typed with the other (spring rolls, dim sum, bitty sandwiches).

Anyone who hit the 50,000 word mark got to run to the front of the ballroom and ring this great big handbell. The whole place then erupted into applause and they got their very own gold crown.

About halfway in, we got a visit from Psycho Donuts.

Donuts from Psycho BakeryDonuts from Psycho BakeryDonuts from Psycho Bakery

I chose the Mello Submarine, which was a rice crispie cookie on top of an old fashioned donut. And then I saw God.

My Choice - the Mello Submarine

One of the really special moments of this entire evening, though, was being there as Chris Baty said goodbye.

Founder of our Literary Abandon - Chris Baty

He's the founder of NaNoWriMo and Script Frenzy. After thirteen years of literary abandon, he has decided to retire from the madness and spend some time getting is own writing whipped into shape and out into the world. His goodbye speech had the whole room in tears. He then came around to each and every table to sit and chat, and thank us, personally, for supporting the NaNoWriMo charity. So, I pass it along to you all by proxy. Thank you.

Around 10PM, the dinner and donuts had been cleared away to make way for a milk and cookies bar. I was pretty hopped up on caffeine, myself. DRINK ALL THE COFFEE!

Around Hour 10.  The caffiene is still kicking

I took a pause, though, to grab a picture with the Los Angeles contingent. As luck would have it, the head liaison from my friendly neighborhood LA borough happened to be sitting at my very own table.

Los Angeles Contingent

As the hour approached 11PM, we were fast and furious at the keyboard. When the final duck quacked (it was the signal for "pencils down" all evening), I had hacked out 4,958 words. Not too shabby. The final count for the entire evening (from those who turned in their counts) was 43 people who met the 50k November goal and a group total of over 420,000 words.

As I drove back to my little home away from home...

Deadly Deli

...and climbed the stairs to tuck in for the night...

Rolling Into Bed was just one of those surreal evenings that seemed almost larger than life. Larger than me. Writing as a grown up is such a solitary activity. It was amazing to meet the other people on this planet who are engaged in this goofy art, too.

I rose the next morning at 6:30AM and wandered down to Fishermans Wharf as it was waking up. I got Boudin for breakfast with a hot cup of Pete's coffee.

Boudin for BreakfastBoudin for BreakfastBoudin for Breakfast

There wasn't a tourist in site and I sat on the dock, watching the crab boats.

I drove to The Palace of Fine Arts

Palace of Fine Arts

And watched the swans

Palace of Fine Arts

I could visit that place a million times and always see something new. There is something about the way the light hits it at different times of the day and during different seasons.

Palace of Fine Arts Turn Away Palace of Fine Arts Palace of Fine Arts

The time to go home was at hand and I started my long drive out to Oakland. It was an utterly amazing 24 hours in the city. Thank you comes woefully short of the gratitude I feel for each of you that made it possible. But for lack of a better phrase in the English language... thank you.